Leaching Behaviour of Pond Ash
Fly ash and bottom ash are mixed along with water in thermal power plants (TPPs) and the resulting slurry is carried to ash ponds through drains (Shivpuri et al. 2011). This slurry contains trace metals such as As, Cr, Zn, Cd, etc. which are toxic in nature and sometimes radioactive elements such as U, Th, etc. are also present. These metals are highly likely to leach into surrounding soil and groundwater (Mandal and Sengupta 2005) making wet disposal of coal combustion residues (CCRs) a serious environmental concern. On the other hand, fly ash is often dumped in dry state which leads to high levels of suspended particulate matter in the air. As the particle size of the dust varies from sub-micron to microns, it can cause serious respiratory problems. So, fly ash particles can be hazardous in nature and their environmental impacts need to be assessed and mitigated.
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